When people ask me for my strangest Internet dating story, Chip Boy is never far from my mind. It’s one of my favorites, and I wanted to make sure you had all seen it. I mean, it’s not everyday you get aggressively insulted by your date. Well, it kinda is everyday for me, but hopefully it’s new for you folks. Enjoy!
I bring a wide spectrum of winning qualities to each of my Internet dates. First of all, I blog, which is second only to swashbuckling on the List of Hobbies that Women Find Sexually Exciting. Second, I blog about my dates, giving women the rare chance to be humiliated not only during the evening itself, but afterwards on the Internet as well. That’s two potential disasters in one! Third, I am allergic to gluten, which not only sounds dorky, but means that I can almost never eat out and often ferret little snacks with me wherever I go. Fourth, I have a full body rash. Actually, I don’t, but you’d buy it after reading the rest of the list, wouldn’t you? I’m what they refer to in the dating world as a “triple threat,” meaning at least three different times during the date you will threaten to get up and walk away. But hey, I know my faults, and am more than happy to have a laugh at my expense. The trouble comes when my date starts laughing along with me, and pointing out faults I hadn’t yet considered. That’s when things can get ugly. Very, very ugly.
Tami was a woman I put some effort into, partially because her profile made me laugh, and partially because she looked exactly like Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights. Whether those parts were evenly sized, I’ll let you decide. I first started emailing with Tami before she went on a long vacation, and when I sent the “have a good trip, let’s hang out when you get back!” email, I think we were both thinking, “yeah, right.” She was going to be in South America for a month, which in Internet dating time is equal to like two and a half years. You gotta strike while the iron is hot on Match, and after thirty days in the tropics, our iron was going to be cold, drained of water, and sitting on a table in a yard sale somewhere.
A month later, however, much to my surprise, Tami emailed and asked if I’d like to have that drink. A quick check of Facebook revealed that she did in fact still look like Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights, so I was in. We met, and immediately began breaking every first date rule I have. As you know, I recommend only two drinks on a first date – she had like six, and I managed three before getting totally smashed. I don’t have a rule about not letting your date totally outdrink you, because, well, I never really imagined it happening. I’m big and girls are small, and usually the roofies I put in their drinks hit them long before the alcohol does. After three cocktails though, I almost asked Tami how Coach Taylor was in the sack, so I switched to soda and my trusty water bottle. She did not. Also, Tami ordered food – putting this right on the verge of being a dinner date, something else I strongly forbid. Thankfully, because of my food allergies, I couldn’t join her in eating, which I explained to her in as ungeeky a way as possible. Dinner date rule intact! (One person eating is obviously just a snacking date.)Unfortunately, a few more rules would die on my first night with Tami. I smoked a cigarette, which is a habit so lovely that I try to save it for a bit further on in the relationship, just so she doesn’t get too turned on all at once. Also, we did some kissing, french-style, which I at least pretend to not want to do on first dates, so I can seem classy and reserved. All in all, it was an action-packed 4+ hour date, and I was sure it was the start of something memorable. As always, I was correct…
On our second date, Tami and I did drinks and a movie. We missed dinner, so during the film I snacked on some gluten-free chips I brought with me. Now I recognize that’s a little weird – bringing food into a movie date, but as I said earlier, living gluten-free requires you to become real weird real fast. At least 90% of things you would find in a convenient store or on a restaurant menu have wheat in the them, so you have to fend for yourself. Otherwise you run the risk of eating something dicey, then saying to girl you’ve just artfully lured into the bedroom, “You’re totally turning me on right now, I’m just gonna go to the bathroom for a second and drop a nuclear bomb on your toilet. If I’m not back in twenty minutes, call the cops.”
Ultimately however, the second date was a success. We finished our movie, did some more celebratory kissing, then eagerly planned our third evening together. Being an experienced dater, I knew full well what a third date meant. For two dates, you’re a gentleman, on the third date all bets are off. Staying over, making out, nudity – all on the table for date #3. You don’t end third dates with a polite kiss on the cheek, you end them with enticing, romantic, possibly erotic things whispered into each other’s ears as you head toward someone’s apartment. Usually. Our third date ended like this:
Tami: My friends call you Chip Boy.
Tami: They keep asking me, “so what crazy thing did Chip Boy do next?”
Tami: They love it. Man, did they laugh when I told them about you.
It seemed that the lovely Tami had regaled her friends with the story of the valiant Chip Boy, who took girls to movies, then shoveled bags and bags of potato chips into his mouth in the comforting darkness. But that was not where it ended…
Tami: And then when I told them about the water bottle and you not eating dinner, they just about lost it!
Me: OK, wait a second…
Tami: I was a party the other night and people kept coming up to me and saying, “are you the one who went out with Chip Boy?!” It was hilarious.
Me: It sounds hilarious.
Tami, apparently, found several things about me very, very funny. 1) I brought a water bottle on our date and drank from it. A water bottle not unlike this:
that millions of people have and drink from on a daily basis. 2) When she ordered dinner on our first date, I declined, saying I couldn’t eat anything on the menu because of allergies. And 3) I went to a movie with her and ate a bag of chips. Her friends loved these outlandish tales so that they dubbed me Chip Boy, and eagerly awaited the next edition in my legendary saga.
Look, I get it. We all talk about our dates with our friends and make little jokes. Some of us even talk about those dates online and make rather big jokes. I’m down with that. But when it gets to the point of needling nicknames and untold thousands of people walking up to someone at a party and laughing about the crazy bullshit said date did, that’s going a little far. At least a little far to tell me about on our third date.
Tami: What, you don’t think it’s funny?
Me: Well, you know I just brought the chips because I’m allergic to a lot of things so I have to bring something along with me in case I get hungry, right?
Tami: Sure, but it was just a joke. Don’t be so sensitive.
Me: I don’t mind, I guess. It’s just that, those things aren’t really…funny. They’re just kinda…things.
Tami: God, you are so delicate. Why don’t you try not taking yourself so seriously?!
And that’s when the yelling started. Not by me, as confrontation is significantly unpleasant enough for me that yelling is reserved only for my cat, and my super, after my super has left the apartment. But holy shit did she start yelling at me. Apparently I was being a jerk, not laughing at her jokes about me. Not just a jerk, I was being “stuck up,” “boring,” “selfish,” “sensitive” AND “insensitive” simultaneously (which is hard to pull off), and, of course, “lame.” And Tami felt it necessary to make sure everyone in the bar knew about it. (Now I know why Coach Taylor was so pissed off all the time.) Finally, just as I thought she was wrapping her diatribe up, Tami pushed it one step over the line.
Tami: Gosh, you must not be a very good comedian if you can’t even laugh at yourself.
You can say I’m a lot of things, but don’t for one second think you’re going to say I’m not funny and get away with it. At that moment I got up and walked out of the bar, uninterested in whether or not Tami was behind. When I got outside it was clear that she was, and she expected a cab hailed for her. Because, above all else, she was a lady. I stuck out my hand, and when a car service pulled up instead of a cab, she objected. “You don’t think I’m actually gonna take a shady town car, do you?” I answered her question with another question.”There’s an option to end this date as fast as humanly possible and you’re going to turn it down because it’s not the right kind of car?!” Tami looked at me and nodded. I wished her goodnight, hopped in the car and drove off. Chip Boy out.
In retrospect, I know that Tami meant well. She was trying to do that playful banter thing that couples do, when they josh about the goofy things they did on their first dates. She just misjudged the appropriate timeline for such a thing by…maybe…seventy-five dates. But it stung a bit. So when she texted the next day and, as a form of apology, said “I guess I drank one too many gin and tonics last night, huh?”, I couldn’t resist responding. A forgiving person would’ve said, “don’t worry about it, and best of luck.” What I said was, “yeah, maybe you should get yourself a water bottle.”
Well done… Well done.
With all due respect, in this day and age where people are so quick to judge others, why don’t you just buy a bottle of water for $3 at the bar or wait a couple of hours to eat until you get home? Bringing a water bottle with you to a bar/restaurant on a date? Bringing a bag of chips with you on the first couple of dates? I’m sorry, but most people would find that weird. However, that girl was a major ***** for bringing it up so early in the “relationship.”
I stand by the bottle of water. PLastic bottles are outrageous environmentally. In retrospect, however, the chips were pretty weird. But yes, I agree, the problem wasn’t really the behavior – I’m open to admitting just about everything about me is weird – it’s the way too early and not terribly playful ribbing that followed.
This has nothing to do with her bringing up something ‘too soon’. It has everything to do with both of you treating a new romantic relationship as something distinct from a new platonic relationship, which it is, but not in the way you are thinking. A new romantic relationship can be distinctly special, but you have to be able to separate its potential for being something special with your fear of things not working out or going your way once you find someone who SEEMS like they’ve got that special potential for you. Initial expectations can be a very subtle and defensive way to protect yourself from rejection but it actually guarantees the very thing it seeks to avoid. When you depend too much – and your gut knows when you are doing this – on the way your romantic target communicates her opinion of you to you as a means to either grow or protect your confidence. When you forget to prioritize your belief in and acceptance of your own inherent worth, when you haven’t consciously placed that state of mind ahead of your more uncontrollable, unanticipated or unexpected emotions [aka natural human anxieties, which are triggered by a desire for acceptance in others], you aren’t properly equipped to handle the inevitable misunderstandings of a new relationship. When there is a misunderstanding or a negative perception of what’s communicated to you arises, hypersensitivity creeps in to protect you but it also catches your emotions by surprise, which triggers your defenses. This creates an irrational response. It is literally irrational to assume you know what someone is thinking or meaning when you hardly know them, right? Still, this irrational thought process remains the main reason why things go great great great then suddenly turn sideways. When initial expectations are absent, when you take them out of the equation, rarely do things suddenly and abruptly fail, leaving everyone asking “WTF” only to proceed further into irrational analysis that assigns blame and minimizes what really, was a rather shocking and jarring ending to something that was proceeding so well. Think about how you would have handled the situation, had it been a platonic one. You likely would have felt less sensitive to any potential negative queues of her distaste for something about you. Consequently, 1] you might have been more inclined to not perceive her comments offensively, and 2] even if you were troubled by her name-calling, you would have asserted your vulnerability to her comments first. In other words, you would have felt safe and confident enough to state directly that what she said to you was kinda hurtful. Why? Because you want her to like you of course, that’s why. And if you want her to like you, you let her know that she just communicated something that doesn’t make it sound that way. When you do this, you allow her the opportunity to clarify. You give her the chance to reaffirm her positive feelings towards you as opposed to provoking negative ones. You become that hot kooky chip boy boyfriend to her hot kooky [fill blank] girlfriend. You simultaneously acknowledge her playful jab with an assertion of it also being something that makes you special. At any rate, if you had communicated in this way, she would have likely responded with sensitivity to your feelings, instead of amping up her own defenses. She would have acknowledged and considered your sensitivity as opposed to bemoaning them. Keep in mind too, that as I explain all of this, I have assigned no blame to either of you. Why? Because that’s not what it’s about at all, is it. Good luck with everything. I enjoy your posts.
PROTIP: Dear Chip Girl. If you are going to make fun of someone behind their back, don’t tell them about it.
I mean, seriously. What was she thinking?
The only people in my life that can get away with that crap are either related to me, or have saved my life.
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Being a gluten-free dater myself, I can relate. I try to meet for drinks on a first date so I don’t have to go through the whole “what? No bread? NO BEER?!” conversation when choosing a restaurant/meal right away. I feel like the guy automatically thinks that if he gets involved with me he’ll never be allowed have a beer or spaghetti again and he runs for the hills. Do you find that same kind of attitude with women or are they more understanding/reasonable?
Everything you did was just weird. Although she sounds like those ” look at me I’m though because I travel to third world countries in small samples and love slumming it as long as it suits me for a week”. Which is great but I can see why she would find your allergies and ” water bottle” funny enough to make fun of you behind your back. Classless and women like that annoy me anyway. I’ll admit I do find men with allergies a bit restrictive on my own freedom. I know it shouldn’t matter but sometimes you want to share and since you can die from it, it seems more binding than say someone who is vegetarian because they strongly support PETA. It’s not a fetish or a fad or a passing fancy. It’s there to stay for a long time. I don’t eat beef. Its a choice. Although the few times I’ve had it I actually hadn’t managed to swallow it and landed up with half chewed food on a napkin. :(. Disgusting. But I know I wont die from eating it.
A water bottle or a bag of dietary specific munchies don’t really seem that weird to me. But then again I’m in Baltimore and we have a high weird factor here so I am perhaps desensitized to it at this point. Ultimately someone who doesn’t get your brand of weird was never going to be right for you in any case, though finding that out without being on the receiving end of a bar melt-down is definitely preferable. Good job on an excellent exit!
Being gluten free makes you seem like a pretentious asshole. Bringing a metal bottle of water, a bag of chips, and passing on dinner all during a date makes you seem like a weird, pretentious asshole.
I think your articles are funny, and I often agree with them. Tami was not as ridiculous as you painted her to be. Plus she was hot. Bad form.
P.S. Don’t act weird on dates just to keep this blog going.
Good to know, Ben! Is it less pretentious to just go ahead and eat the gluten, then poop all over the place for like 6 hours? I mean, I don’t want to seem like an asshole, so I guess I should just go for it, right?
P.S. I went out with Tami long before this blog ever existed. Believe me, I need put in no additional effort to seem weird.
Oh and I never called you boring, insensitive, selfish, or lame nor did I yell at you in the middle of a bar! Just to be clear. But I guess the more truthful version of events wouldn’t have made for an interesting story (at least from your side of things) so I guess I understand why you felt compelled to vilify me and I do forgive you for that! : )